Cheyli’s Story15 April, 2018
A Life Transformed
We met her at nine years of age, she had never left her small village nor been able to go to school. She was born with club feet and spina bifida, but her family never had the ability to get her the surgery she required. The past two years have been life changing for Cheyli and her family. Through collaborative work and the help of the local community as well as a surgical team and medical specialists in Tegucigalpa, Cheyli was able to have her club feet surgically repaired. We supported her family through the rehab period, hired a tutor from the village to begin her education, brought our PT to help monitor her progress, and secured transportation and accommodations for her family when it was necessary to travel for medical appointments. It was a joy for us to purchase her first pair of shoes.
Last March it became clear that she was beginning to fail in her ability to walk and the family did not have the resources to support her, we worked with our community leaders to find a solution. Cheyli was becoming depressed, her expectations of attending school were diminishing and she had returned to using her hands to scoot around as walking had become too difficult.
Through our community contacts including a serious and honest talk with her family, Cheyli was evaluated for admission to an orphanage which has full medical and academic support. The facility is located far from her village. Following our brigade visit last spring we brought Cheyli and her family to Tegucigalpa for the week and arranged and accompanied them to the necessary social worker and medical evaluation visits.
Cheyli was admitted to Los Pequenos Hermanos in June 2016. She is in school full time and receives physical therapy and regular exercises necessary to support her ability to walk. She is thriving, happy, has many friends, and her health reflects the improvement in her nutrition. Cheyli loves crafts and has been making hundreds of beautiful beaded bracelets which NPH sells to raise funds, recently she has learned to crochet. We always remember to bring more craft supplies to keep her fingers busy. The directors enjoy going to visit her at NPH, taking her out for the weekend or for short excursions.
CHPH maintains a fund now for her mother and siblings to travel to visit her, they are allowed to stay for up to a week and Cheyli may return home several times each year. She is catching up fast with her academic abilities and the words “when you go to the University” are not a dream, but truly could be a reality. Reading is her favorite subject!